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Everything posted by T2Eagle

  1. yeah, it's a rare year that goes by that I don't recharter a kid --- or two --- that I never see again.
  2. Mine was in the nicer part of the basement of our CO's church, meaning the part nice enough to serve food on occasion. Gerald R. Ford was President. Our EBORs today are identical to qwazse's. Well, at least they were, I suspect the next one in our district will be done via Skype.
  3. Here's an interesting question I just received. A scout who's Eagle project was scheduled for a couple weeks from now, and then turns 18 a few weeks later. Where does he stand. My best guess is that all sorts of rules are going to be waived everywhere as a result of this crisis, and this is going to be one of them. But we just won't know right away.
  4. I'm seeing ads for printer and desk I already purchased.
  5. We cancelled a campout this weekend. Schools are closed here in Ohio, including our Catholic parish school. We've received guidance from our parish CO that any meeting approaching 100 people is cancelled, which could mean our COH in a few weeks. Our regular meetings are allowed to go forward because they're smaller than that, BUT the other restriction is that we should maintain social distancing if we do hold a meeting. They defined that as keeping a distance of three feet, although I have seen some recommendations of six feet. So we're not sure yet what we're going to do about meetings. I know the three feet doesn't mean never get near each other, but it's still a tough thing to picture. Without having talked to any of the leaders, my guess is we'll probably cancel this week and next and see where we are after that.
  6. We received this from our council earlier this evening. "Scouting continues, and we encourage each family to use time together for work already found in your Scouting Handbook – earn Cub Scout electives, learn now and prepare for your next Scouts BSA or Venturing rank advancement, and plan to finish or start new merit badges. We recommend Public Health merit badge and the associated belt loops – there are lots of ways to use this time to better yourself and those around you. Meetings for your unit (Pack, Troop, Crew, Post) will continue at the discretion of your unit leaders and chartering organization. Use guidance from the CDC as you consider any possible meetings. Explore the technology available via telephones and computers to meet digitally."
  7. Red is the old language, green is the new language. I don't see any substantive difference between the two. It looks like they just moved it around a bit. If he wants a new blue card just get a new card. if he wants him to do a new 13 week budget have him talk through with the counselor why. If they can't come to a meeting of the minds have him seek out a new counselor. It's worth noting that most scouters don't even know that rules like the Guide to Advancement exists, let alone what it says. It might be helpful for your son to include the relevant wording from that when communicating with the counselor. Do the following: Prepare a budget reflecting your expected income (allowance, gifts, wages), expenses, and savings. Track and record your actual income, expenses, and savings for 13 consecutive weeks. (You may use the forms provided in the merit badge pamphlet, devise your own, or use a computer generated version.) When complete, present the records showing the results to your merit badge counselor. for a period of 13 consecutive weeks. Compare expected income with expected expenses. If expenses exceed budget income, determine steps to balance your budget. If income exceeds budget expenses, state how you would use the excess money (new goal, savings). Track and record your actual income, expenses, and savings for 13 consecutive weeks (the same 13-week period for which you budgeted). (You may use the forms provided in this pamphlet, devise your own, or use a computer-generated version.) When complete, present the records showing the results to your merit badge counselor. Compare your budget with your actual income and expenses to under- stand when your budget worked and when it did not work. With your merit badge counselor, discuss what you might do differently the next time.
  8. I am unclear what problem your committee perceives it has. You had a male SPL who was nominally the SPL for both your male and female troops. You now have a female SPL fulfilling that role. What question are you needing to answer now that you didn't need to answer before? My understanding of the linked troop model was that a CO would have two separate troops that might or might not operate in close parallel with each other. Under that model you would have two SPLs, or if you decide one troop is too small to need an SPL you would have one patrol size troop led by a PL. From your brief description it sounds like your CC foolishly assumed that the SPL would just naturally be male, and now doesn't understand why that is. Does the CC think that every high school in the country elects only males as student body president. If the idea of a female SPL has some people freaked out your best bet is to say well the scouts chose this let's go along with it for six months and then elect two separate SPLs. I remain amazed that your people didn't see this coming. Did they really not think a girl would ever be elected.
  9. One more note, there is no registering with the council. Once you complete the national registration process the council then "approves" your registration and you are part of their contingent. Also, there is almost certainly a committee formed or forming to steer all the preparation for your council's contingent. If you want to have a say in how things happen, or at a minimum really understand the process, volunteer to be on the committee. One of the professional scouters in the council is assigned to the committee, call your council, find out who that is and tell them you want to volunteer.
  10. I had trouble for about 12 hours. I never saw any notice, and thought the site was just down. But when I got back in there were lots of posts during the time I couldn't.
  11. Interesting that in 1922, just four years after the Spanish Flu epidemic, its prevention was not a part of the merit badge. Most likely because its cause and preventive measures weren't yet widely understood.
  12. I'll get to my rant in a few lines, but I think the answer to your question is first, as Latin Scot said, those cards for ranks are optional certificates not records in the way that blue cards are records. So it is much less likely that not having one of them is going to cause consternation in comparison to not having a blue card. A 17 year old Life scout getting his paperwork together for Eagle is not going to be challenged as to whether or not he was Tenderfoot or Second Class along the way, but during that same time and circumstance there does need to be some record somewhere that they earned Swimming and Leatherworking six years earlier at their first summer camp. So putting some effort into saving the blue cards is in the scout's best interest. Here's the rant: I am a big fan of recording achievements in a scout's handbook, and in getting blue cards signed and then holding on to them, AND also in promptly recording all those things in electronic databases. But, we get a lot of these types of questions on this forum, and I think as an institution we tend to think too legalistically about them. Handbooks, blue cards, Troopmaster, Scoutnet, these are all just recordings about facts. They are one, but only one among many, possible pieces of evidence of the facts, not the facts themselves. If a scout completes a merit badge, than the fact is he has completed the merit badge. If his blue card is in his pocket when his clothes are washed and all he now has is wad of blue pulp, that doesn't change the fact that he completed the merit badge. We can ask him to make some reasonable efforts to try reproduce that record, but if he can't that doesn't change the fact that he EARNED the merit badge. Similarly, if a scout has completed half the requirements for 1st Class and then his handbook gets sucked in to the monstrous maw that hunts all things owned by twelve year olds, we can again ask him to take reasonable steps to try to recreate the records of completing those requirements, but the important fact is that he has COMPLETED those requirements. Blue cards, handbooks, electronic records, those are good evidence, but equally good evidence is a scout or scouter's attestation, on their Honor as a Scout, that a merit badge or requirement or rank was earned. These aren't legal documents, they're bits and pieces recording that a kid had some fun and learned something while having it.
  13. I was making reservations today for a weekend campout at a neighboring council's camp, and I was surprised at the cost. The camp has virtually no amenities or facilities, so we're really just getting a flat spot, plus a latrine and water somewhere on the property. The cost for us as an out of council unit was $40 a night. In comparison, our council's camp charges $20 for a weekend regardless of in or out of council. I'm not complaining, but given the disparity I'm curious what other councils are charging.
  14. Our troop uses NSPs for the first six months after crossover. For the most part we want to make sure the newest scouts don't get lost in the maelstrom that is a troop using the patrol method. Things really are new and different for brand new scouts. For most of them it's the first time they're away from home without a parent, it's the first time they're responsible for tending their own gear, the first time they're more than half a school day removed from the comforts of home and hearth, and the first time the folks in charge of them are amateur youth leaders rather than seasoned parents and other adults. We concentrate with them on skills not advancement, and by skills I don't mean sitting around learning knots and first aid, I mean conquering all those things I listed above that are brand new. If they're participating in the activities and campouts they will learn the skills necessary to advance if that's what they're interested in at that time. At the end of six months, we leave it up to the scouts whether they want to remain a separate patrol or integrate into the other patrols. I wanted to add something about the Troop Guide. The TG is not the patrol leader, he helps the PL understand what he needs to do, but his primary role is as teacher and skills developer. One of the most important things we emphasize with the TG is that he's not the only one responsible for this, and like all good leaders he will be most effective when he can bring other people in and delegate much of what he does. We tell him very explicitly it's his job to get all his friends to help him with the new scouts. When they need help learning how to cook he should grab the best cook in the troop and get him over there teaching the new guys. When they need to clean up he should get the best cleaner to show them how it's done. And when there are a couple scouts who are just struggling with tents and gear and everything, it's his job to get his buddies to lend a hand. My best analysis on retention, which is supposed to be what FCFY is all about, is that kids who have fun on campouts, who learn to be successful taking care of themselves, and for whom the game of scouting gives them a sense of both joy and success, are the ones who stick with it. The reverse is also true, a kid who is miserable on an early campout, because he's wet or cold or over tired or most importantly because he is young and just is not quite ready for all the work AND not getting all the help he needs to relieve that work, is going to be the kid who just stops coming.
  15. There are a lot of good reasons to meet someplace different. Just about all the Eagle SM conferences I held over the years were held at my house. I never held them the same night as our troop meeting because I wanted a time where we could both be relaxed and focused. Patrol meetings, or other events where a group of scouts needed to get together to work on something (prep work for a camporee or klondike derby where they're building props for instance) are almost always held at a scout's house rather than the school/church where we meet. For the more regularly scheduled meetings, we remember that 80% of scouting is outing, and so we try to meet outside if it's feasible. As Eagledad suggested parks are a great place to meet if for no other reason than to break up the monotony. Plus they just give you more room to do things. If the weather is nice our PLC will often meet outside, even if it's just on the parish grounds. For our troop meetings, we're fortunate that we have a local park across the street from our parish, and we have a boy scout camp right in our town. Again assuming good weather, we often plan to meet in the park across the street so that we can conduct the main activity for the evening outside. Several times a year we meet in the camp, especially if we're working on orienteering, fire building, or something else that needs a wide area. If every meeting, troop, patrol, PLC, SM conference, BOR looks and feels exactly the same you're not using your imagination and probably missing some opportunities for learning and/or adventure. As always, the best answer to your question will come from your PLC.
  16. Don't guess about any of this. Get the top people in both organizations, council and CO, involved, and be ready to be completely candid both about facts you have, suppositions you may be making, and the difference between the two. Talk to your CO or IH, and make sure they know everything. Call the SE, only he can really make this kind of thing happen; don't stop at the registrar, a DE, or anyone less. Be completely candid, and insist on the same level of candor from him. Ask what he's going to do and when, ask him what you should do. Keep contemporaneous notes about every conversation, including dates, times, and names of anyone you're speaking to. Follow up all conversations with a written conformation of the agreed upon steps that will be taken by each party. I am going to disagree with qwazse, it does matter if the scouter's name appears on a printout or in a database somewhere still tied to your unit. Continue to follow up with council until you see that name gone from your unit's roster.
  17. Swatara Lodge 39, Lebanon County Council had a deer as its totem.
  18. This seems like a fine project to me. I would ask about the amount of work necessary, is it enough to have shown leadership? I wouldn't assume it isn't sufficient. It's just that I, and probably most folks, am not familiar enough with it to make my own comparison to other projects. If his estimate makes the scope seem small, it would seem easy to expand it to more than just one pile. I do think an educational display to go along with it would be a very good enhancement and would strongly encourage that even if there wasn't a concern about it "passing." I did a quick search for habitat piles and eagle scout projects, his wouldn't be the first. https://mucc.org/upcoming-wildlife-habitat-opportunity-gourdneck-sga/ The more I read about habitat piles in general, the more I liked the idea. I also found this site, which I had never seen before and am going to share with my troop. https://eagleprojects.boyslife.org/tag/wildlife-projects/ This proposed project seems consistent with some of the projects showcased and with a project one of our scouts just finished that was working with the local metroparks on building and placing a number of kestrel boxes. If you think there's going to be skepticism, maybe include examples like these as extra exhibits attached to the proposal. Good luck to him.
  19. Those are not mutually exclusive events. Our troop is a regular participant in ways large and small in our parish. Scout Sunday is an opportunity for the scouts and the parish to specifically recognize and celebrate scouting in the parish. Keep your scout sunday participation, expand on the others.
  20. Here' a quick tutorial about how advancement should get recorded for a scout. The scout completes a rank and the troop submits a report, electronic or paper, to the council, and that rank is attached to the scout's member ID in the council/national database. BSA computer systems are not particularly modern or well built and so it's hard to be more precise than this in a description. Similarly, a scout completes a merit badge and (hopefully) turns in a blue card to his troop and the troop again records that through the council. In direct answer to your question, the original merit badge counselor could certainly retroactively sign a blue card even though he is not currently registered. The blue card itself has a line to indicate the date completed. The merit badge counselor should sign the card and your son should then turn it in to his current troop for proper recording. To the question of whether merit badge counselor status expires. There are two registration requirements to be a merit badge counselor, you need to be a registered scouter and you need to be registered as a merit badge counselor with your District or Council. Some people are primarily registered as part of a troop and are then additionally, or in the parlance "multiple" registered as merit badge counselors. Some folks are primarily registered as merit badge counselors and not directly affiliated with any specific troop. Either way that registration or membership needs to be renewed each year either through the troop rechartering process or through the District/Council rechartering process. Good luck with helping your sons get their record keeping straightened out, and glad to see you stayed aboard. Out of curiosity, what motivated your son to stick with the program, and why do you think most of his fellow LDS scouts did not?
  21. Our troop wants to head towards Pictured Rocks in the UP of Michigan this summer, and we're looking for camping, and other activity suggestions while there. We're driving up from Ohio, and we'd especially like to find someplace in the upper part of the lower peninsula where we could lay our heads just for a quick night, even something like a church basement would work just so we could leave home in late afternoon and not try to drive it all in one shot . Thanks in advance.
  22. As near as I can tell, although it's always initially challenged, the idea that each diocese in the US is a separate entity and not a part of a greater whole has held up through 20 or so diocesan bankruptcies, so to the extent that's a parallel most local councils should be able to stay out of this. The councils that are going to be in trouble are not so much those with bad facts as much as it is the councils in those states where they have made the recent statute of limitations changes. I doubt it is in anyone's interest to litigate this all the way through a trial and appeals process, so likely a settlement will come after a couple years of preliminary litigation and negotiation.
  23. I'm curious what you see as the bigger goal of your patrol competitions. Interpatrol competition can be a fine thing as a means to an end --- maybe to foster a sense of camaraderie within the patrol, maybe as an incentive to up the skills of some individuals, maybe just as a way to showcase skills that have been mastered. But there are other ways to accomplish all those things. If the result of holding competitions turns out to be something negative rather than something positive then maybe rethinking ways to accomplish your goals is in order. Coincidentally, we have the mother of a former scout who helps run a fundraiser for us every year. Tonight she was there to talk about the fundraiser at a parent meeting that also included the parents of AOL scouts about to crossover. SM was telling the parents of the differences between Cubs and Scouts, emphasizing that each scout's journey and advancement now is his own to do and at his own pace. The mother, then stood up to talk about the fundraiser, but started by telling, unprompted, something her son said to her just as he was completing his Eagle, She said "My son is currently a doctor at Mayo clinic, and i couldn't be prouder of him. But he told me when he made Eagle 'Mom, I tried every sport there was, and I wasn't good at any of them, but I was good at scouts because I didn't have to be better than anyone else, I just had to be as good as I could be." Competition can be a great thing, but it's not one of our aims or methods, and it's not a necessary part of scouts. If it is accomplishing what you want it to accomplish, great, but if it's not ,think about other ways to get where you want to be. What happens on campouts? Does patrol B pitch their tents, get out their equipment, and feed and clean up after itself (truly special needs scout excepted)? If so, why worry about if they do it faster, slower, more efficient or less efficient than their troopmates?
  24. Just FYI, Cub Packs have all had "3" in the thousands place for decades. Nobody uses it, nobody thinks they should use it. I don't think any Cub pack has found it to be annoying. Every single digit, double digit, and triple digit unit number you see is actually a short version of a four digit number. Troops of boys have "0" as their first digit; I forget what the number is for Crews.
  25. Had this happen with two of my scouts, one while he was in the troop, one a couple years after the family moved, but he was still a scout in his new town. Most of what I have to say would only start an argument I have little interest in having. I will say that my own son struggles with this; he was hospitalized for it once. Lots of kids in there with him recovering after having their stomachs pumped or their wrists stitched back up. No one in the ward was recovering from a gunshot wound.
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